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Blackstone Bags NCR Bid

The bidding war for ATM maker NCR seems to be over — at least for one company that was reportedly in the running.

Sources said to be close to the matter have said The Blackstone Group has taken its name off the bidding list, New York Post reported yesterday (Sept. 22). No reasons were given as to why, but an anonymous source did provide some details that suggest the news is final.

“Nothing is going to happen,” the unnamed source told the Post. “The process is over.”

Reports surfaced in mid-September that The Blackstone Group joined the bidding for NCR, which has allegedly opened back up auction talks. Its stock has dropped 20 percent in the past year alone and fell to $25 in post-trading hours Tuesday.

That news came after NCR called off its investor day earlier this month (Sept. 10), which the Post reported sparked more rumors about the possibility of a sale. Two unnamed sources confirmed these details to the publication.

Rumors about NCR have flooded the investment publication headlines for months, and a recent dealReporter column also got the rumor mill rolling again after NCR rose 7.1 percent following the news that it was calling off its investor day. One unnamed source said that NCR “has already signed a deal with a mystery buyer who has not yet lined up financing.”

Reports also indicated that private equity firm Thoma Bravo is no longer in the running to buy NCR, which was initially reported on back in late July. The firm was reportedly looking to buy NCR for $31 a share, but the company wanted $35. The unnamed sources said the latest re-opening of the auction will come with a lower asking price.

NCR has been embarking on a number of initiatives to diversify away from its traditional, ATM-based product lines and that includes a POS focus. In May it was launching NCR-owned Alaric’s latest version of Authentic, a transaction processing software, which can carry out more than 10,000 transactions per second. In July, it announced that the Dunkin’ Donuts chain branched into Brazil using NCR’s Aloha POS software, with an eye on expediting orders, transactions and efficiency.

In the last year, NCR stock has fallen 11 percent and is trading below where it was 10 years ago. The firm, in the recent past, has sought to diversify away from its traditional product line — something Marcato Capital, an NCR shareholder, has said explicitly they would like to see more of through M&A activity.

If a sale does manage to go through, it might feasibly end up as the largest leveraged buyout of 2015.

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